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Gregs’ mysterious withdrawal from basketball

  • Published at 10:21 am June 26th, 2013

Citycell First Division Basketball League champions The Gregs have chosen to not participate in the ongoing premier division league, after having earned a spot in the competition for winning the first division league.

The newly promoted club alleged that the relevant federation did not extend them any help in the process of recruiting foreign players – as they were obliged to – and that the federation chalked the league fixture with the intention of helping influential clubs.

The Gregs’ owner Iqbal Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that he had wanted to enter the tourney with a strong team and to that end, tried to recruit several foreign players from India and other countries. However, the federation did not issue the players clearance letters.

“The federation was supposed to refer us as an authentic club, having no bad record regarding players’ payment and other issues. But unfortunately they did not,” Iqbal said. The club owner added that the federation is biased towards particular clubs and create schedules to serve the interests of those clubs.

“According to the worldwide practice of basketball leagues, the reigning champion of a league is supposed to face the last team in the list, which is the newly promoted one. But surprisingly, the federation drew our match with the champions towards the end of the competition. This is only because one club does not want to face us at the beginning.

“The owner of the champion team Europa Youth has some voting rights in his hand as he is the vice president of the Basketball Federation and gave councillorship to some second division league clubs, although the competition is not being held for a long time,” Iqbal complained.

Basketball federation general secretary Avijit Kumar Sarker countered Iqbal’s claims and said that although the process took longer than usual since the club was new, the federation did issue clearance certificates for them.

“When we give clearance to any club, many liabilities comes on us since we guarantee the payment and other facilities for the players on behalf of club in that case. We cannot take those liabilities without verifying a club properly,” said Sarker.

Regarding the tournament schedule, Sarker explained, “Gregs wanted to bring overseas players at the beginning but it is not viable for all the clubs to support foreign player throughout the whole season. This is why we kept the big games at the later stage of the league, so that the foreign players can come and play the big games within a short period of time. “It also make the competition more attractive. Otherwise if a big team fall out of the title race at the beginning the league becomes uncompetitive.” 

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